Everyone has different styles, but when relationships come together for the first time in your newly shared home or apartment, you need to work as a team to bring both of your styles together in a balanced and cohesive way. Here are Andrika's tips on how to ease this transition.
Above: couch, rug, art, coffee table, lamp, Houndstooth
Mix and match paints
When it comes to paint colours, women tend to go for on-trend prints, pastel colours, lots of creams and whites. They also often enjoy bright colours like yellows, pinks, and bright blues that add some vibrancy to the space. Men on the other hand tend to go for more muted colours such as tans and browns. So the best way to compromise when it comes to paint colours is to mix and match. For example, you can paint the walls a darker colour and accent it with lighter furniture or accessories. The paint used here is a neutral gray colour that's not overpowering and works with everything else in the room.
Go clean and streamlined
Start with a clean and streamlined sofa. No frills or embellishments. You can find furniture that is sturdy and practical but that also has an edge of style and design. It's the best of both worlds. Even though this sofa is large and stuffed, it's in a cream leather colour, making it the perfect starting point for the rest of the space. It's comfortable, and perfect for late night make out sessions.
Every man needs to have a recliner. Don't fight it, because chances are you're not going to win this battle. This one's perfect for boy's nights, football, and hockey viewing, but it's in a nice warm leather tone and very modern. It's not your father's ugly old recliner! You won't be ashamed to have your girlfriends over for movie nights with this piece. In fact, you'll be fighting over who gets to sit on these recliners!
This coffee table is low, big thick wood, and almost looks like it belongs in a castle. But the grey undertones make sure it doesn't veer too much into the manly category.
This tripod lamp is very on trend. It's hip and we're seeing it everywhere. Even though it can lean toward masculine, its clean and simple, and such a classic piece that it truly goes with any decor.
Add personality with art and accessories
Art is a chance for you to display your personality and show off some of your collectibles. Have fun and add unique pieces like these movie posters. When grouped and framed, these vintage old prints make for a pulled-together look.
Accessories are where ladies get to work in some interesting colors, textures, trendier prints. These ones appeal to both sexes and work well with the rest of the items in the space. Also add flowers for a feminine touch but don't feel like it needs to be a giant floral bouquet. Think about displaying jade plants, colorful cacti or something fresh and not overpowering like terreniaums. Finish with a grouping of books, and you've got a great blend of masculine and feminine.
Find Your Middle Ground
Before you go decorating too quickly, Andrika recommends taking some time to plan what you want in your space.
Live in the space
You should first live in the space for a few weeks before going out and buying new furniture. It might drive you crazy to see everything mismatched, or you hate your boyfriend's large speakers that take up half the living room space. But waiting will help you see what you need, where you need to put it, and what you're happy to keep so you don't waste too much money.
Keep inspiration accessible
Create inspiration images and source furniture that you both like and can afford based on your budget. Don't include a $50,000 sofa on your inspiration board if you can't afford it. Furniture, colours, accessories, swatches and ideas are great to have, but know your limitations and try to take into consideration your significant other's tastes.
Think outside the box
Before you get rid of any items or put them into storage, think about repainting them an interesting colour, mixing and matching oddities, or using a piece of furniture for something other than its intended purpose. This should be a fun process, and allows you to be creative. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and push the limits of your comfort zone. Come up with some fun projects and save money by reworking your existing items. For example, you can use your boyfriend's old wooden crate that once held extra records, turn it on its side, and use as a bedside table.
Create Unique Displays
Think about all your little trinkets and accessories. Moving in with somebody usually means they're now doubled and you've possibly inherited a room full of Star Wars action figures. Go through these items, take a look at your styles, and focus on what you want to display and what gets put in storage or thrown out. And remember that accessories look better in threes or odd numbers. Creating balance without symmetry is something that is just thrown together. Placing items, reworking them, and creating a cohesive and elegant look takes time, so work, work, and work at it some more.